Sunday, 12 August 2012


On July 3, 1982, the German television music program Bananas  featured a very special guest. Not Fischer Z or Adam Ant, who were also in the studio, but artist Joseph Beuys who, accompanied by the group BAP, made his first and last appearance as a pop singer. His song Sonne statt Reagan (‘Sun instead of rain/Reagan’, with an untranslatable pun in German) formed part of a mass protest against the deployment of SS-20 and Pershing missiles in Europe and was recorded in support of the election campaign of die Grünen, the Green Party. It did not take the audience long to realize that Beuys’s talents unquestionably lay elsewhere, but it remains one of the most curious ‘art videos’ to date.

Beuys’s career as a rock star may have come to a premature end, the single Sonne statt Reagan is recorded by Schellmann as an official Beuys multiple (nr 447). The record came in a plain brown cover with yellow lettering, with the artist’s printed signature and the date 19.4.1982 just below it. Characteristically, he made also a special limited edition in an edition of 90, for which a reddish brown circle oil paint was hand printed over the ‘statt Reagan’ part and the record itself was signed on the label. The copy shown below comes from the regular edition.

For more details, click HERE